- 236.7 g/mol
- Chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons (CAH)
Compound properties list
|Melting/boiling point|| 187 0C||Solid|
|Relative density||2.09||Sinks in water|
|Vapour pressure||0.5 mm Hg||Low volatility|
|Vapour density||8.2||Denser than air|
|Solubility in water||50 mg/L||Low solubility|
|Henry's law constant||6 x 10-3 atm·m3/mol||Rapid volatilization when dissolved|
|log Koc (Depending on soil or sediment characteristics)||Strong adsorption to organic matter|
At 20 0C, hexachloroethane is a solid with low volatility. Characterized by low
solubility, it will volatilize rapidly once dissolved and adsorbs strongly to organic matter. When
present in soil, this compound will volatilize slowly and solubilize slowly. Once dissolved, it will
either enter into the groundwater table or migrate towards a waterway, where it will be diluted,
before rapidly volatilizing. Adsorbed hexachloroethane will take a very long time to disappear,
being released in its gaseous or dissolved forms. The resulting plumes (gaseous or dissolved) will
be relatively small in size.
Hexachloroethane should be handled with care as it is toxic.
Hexachloroethane is not a naturally occurring compound. It is produced by the
chlorination of tetrachloroethene, or as a by-product of the industrial production of other
chlorinated hydrocarbons. Hexachloroethane can also be formed when materials containing chlorinated
hydrocarbons are incinerated.
The industrial use hexachloroethane was once quite extensive but is currently diminishing. One of
its main uses is in metal and alloy production, mainly as degassing pellets to remove the air
bubbles during aluminum alloy refining. It is also used to remove impurities from molten metals,
recovering metals from ores or smelting products and improving the quality of various metals and
alloys. Large amounts of hexachloroethane are also used by the military. Hexachloroethane, when
mixed with zinc, zinc oxide, or titanium dioxide, is commonly used to produce military smoke
munitions (example, candles and grenades used to generate "smoke" or "fog") and pyrotechnics.
Other applications for hexachloroethane include its addition to combustible liquids as an
ignition suppressant, as a component of fire extinguishing fluids, and as a polymer additive in a
variety of applications. It has also been used in fungicidal and insecticidal formulations, and was
once prescribed for de-worming animals (sheep). Other uses, in limited quantities, are as a
component of submarine paints and extreme pressure lubricants.
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1997. Toxicological
Profile for Hexachloroethane. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health
Service, Georgia, USA. (Viewed March
National Toxicology Program. 2005. Report on Carcinogens, Eleventh Edition: Substance Profile
of Hexachloroethane. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, USA.(PDF, 325KB) (Viewed March
Montgomery, John H. 2007. Groundwater Chemicals, Desk Reference, Fourth Edition, CRC
Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Florida, USA.